Bees live in Myrtle Trees. The wood smells good and the leaves are like bay leaves…you can use them in place of bay leaves, but in smaller quantities. According to wikipedia, the leaf has been used as a cure for headache, toothache, and earache—though the volatile oils in the leaves may also cause headache.
I used cedar sawdust in the bottom of my first log hive. Phil Chandler of biobees.com was discussing the importance of hive ecosystem…“that it might be beneficial to have wood shavings and possibly dry leaves in the hope of stimulating an ecosystem similar to the natural environment where perhaps earwigs and woodlice etc. would live below the bees and maybe eat any falling varroa.” Since my first log hive survived the winter intact, without me feeding or medicating them, I think I’ll try the sawdust option again. This time I’ll add myrtle leaves to the mix.
We left town to visit the grandkids. It was just a day trip, but when we got back a little package was waiting for us…hanging from a tree.
Thankfully I was prepared. All that I had to do as it was getting dark was to snip the branch with a bucket under it and carry it to the log…remove the top bars and drop the swarm into the log. This is swarm #5 from Bee Beard Log hive. It probably does not have a mated queen, but the weather looks good for the next 7-10 days, so it should be a safe bet that the queen will be able to fly out.
Unfortunately this small swarm never quite made it. It was slow to build up and just didn’t have the numbers to survive the week of freezing nights we had in December. Good news though. A prime swarm picked out Bee-atrice for their home on or about June 6, 2014.